#14 The Purpose of Your Salvation

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                       (A Series on the Book of James)

Westgate Chapel 05/1/05                                    James 4:13-5:6

Proposition:      The purpose of your salvation is the praise of His glorious grace.

i.    introduction

-     WOULD you please all take the piece of paper just handed you and fold it in half?

-     NOW, would you write on one half, in no more than 3 or four words what you believe to be the purpose of your salvation?

-     WHAT is the purpose of your salvation?

-     WRITE it on one half of the piece of paper, fold it up and put it in your purse or pocket please….and I am asking you not to take it back out until the end of the sermon.

-     I REALLY want everyone to participate please.

-     THIS is just for your benefit. You are not going to be asked to turn it in.

-     BUT I believe you are going to find it very important to you and your Christian life.

-     WHAT is the purpose of your salvation?

-     (GIVE time for writing)


-     GREAT!

-     NOW, would you take your Bibles please and turn to Ephesians 1 (page 1156).

-     THE verses we are going to be examining in James today require that we start in Ephesians…with the purpose of our salvation.

-     I HAVE obviously not read what you have written on your piece of paper re: the purpose of your salvation, but if you are like most Christians in America, the majority of you have written two words, “eternal life.”

-     SOME of you have written “forgiveness of sins.”

-     A FEW have written “to evangelize.”

-     WHEN Pastor Ben did this same thing with some of the young people at a prayer meeting at his house, one high school young lady was honest enough to write down, “I don’t know!”

-     DON’T you think it is important that you know why you have been saved?

-     LET’S start reading Ephesians 1:3…..and nobody sneak your piece of paper out and try and change what you wrote….yet.

      “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:3-6)

-     HE blessed us, chose us, predestined us to be sons and daughters….so that we would be to the praise of the glory of His grace.

-     WAIT, there’s more!

-     LOOK at verses 11-12,

      “…we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1:11-12)

-     GOD has invested in us everything we need to live godly lives…so that our lifestyles would result in people praising the glory of God.

-     WAIT there is still more!

-     LOOK at verses 13-14,

      “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession [that’s us], to the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14)

-     THREE times in the same chapter of Ephesians, the Holy Spirit directly connects the purpose of your salvation and mine with God receiving glory from the way we live our lives in Christ.

-     WHICH is exactly what Satan wants to steal from us to get to God through us.

-     HE was jealous of the glory of God when he served at the throne of God before his fall…and was cast out of heaven for his rebellion.

-     HE tried to rob God of the glory by tempting Jesus, and failed.

-     SO now his main goal is to steal the glory that God deserves from your life and mine.

-     HOW does God receive glory from us?

*     From the way we treat each other.

-     Ephesians 3:10 says that when the life of the church is seen by rulers and authorities in heavenly places the manifold wisdom of God is made known….glory!

-     From conversations we have that build others up.

-     From our worship, private and corporate.

-     From our ministries to others.

-     From our Christ-like attitudes.

-     From witnessing to others.

-     From our stewardship of our finances and giving.

-     From our disciplined hunger for God in His Word.

-     From obedience.

-     From our victories over temptation and sin.

-     From our obvious dependence on God for every aspect of our lives.

-     AND what is the purpose of your salvation? To be to the source of God receiving glory.



ii.   a lifestyle independent of god

-     WHICH is the purpose of the Epistle of James!

-     JAMES is a mirror for you to see your life, in the reflection of those things that bring glory to God.

-     TURN with me to James 4:13-5:6.

-     IN these eleven verses, there are five very real lifestyle issues that are designed to steal the glory God deserves out of your life and mine.

-     AND each of these lifestyle issues represents an attempt to pull your shoulder away from God and do it on your own.



-     AND the first issue is arrogance.

-     LOOK at verse 13,

      “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.’”

-     THE issue is living your life, making plans as if God had nothing whatsoever to do with your life.

-     “TODAY or tomorrow”….you assume full control of the times of your life.

-     “SUCH and such a place”….you assume full control of the location you live your life.

-     “SPEND a year there….you assume full control of the seasons of your life.

-     “AND engage in business”…you assume full control of the activity of your life.

-     “AND make a profit”…..you assume full control of the purpose of your life.

-     AND God is not even considered, not consulted, and not honored as Lord.

-     HE gets no glory!

-     AND James says to these people in the church (verse 14),

      “Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. 15 Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.’”

-     JAMES is not suggesting a mechanical mantra be added to our conversations like a good luck charm.

-     HE is suggesting the humility of heart that…

*     Recognizes God’s sovereignty over all of our lives as Creator.

*     Recognizes His double ownership of us since He has redeemed us.

*     And honors and glorifies Him by seeking His will in every aspect of our lives….and pursuing His kingdom above all other agendas.

-     LOOK at verse 16,

      “But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.”

-     WE might try and justify our actions, but the glory that is due the Lord from our lives gets stolen.





-     THE second issue James raises is hoarding the things of the world.

-     LOOK at James 5:1-3,

      “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. 2Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure!”

-     NOWHERE in the Bible are riches in and of themselves condemned.

-     BUT the Bible is full of warnings about the deception of wealth….either for those who have it or those who will have it.

-     RICHES can too easily pull us away from the purpose of our salvation…which is what? To bring glory to God.

-     IN these three verses, there is a lifestyle described that pulls its shoulder away from God by the excessive hoarding of things as if God cannot be trusted for as our security for the future.

*     Riches (verse 2) are commodities like grain or oil.

*     Garments (verse 2) are clothes.

*     Gold and silver (verse 3) are money.

-     IN the last of verse 3, James is incredulous that hoarding is happening…and it is the last days!

-     IN other words, there are so many other things of God’s kingdom that we need to be busy with since it is the last days….that he can’t believe the Christian is hoarding.

-     AND the language of the three verses tells us clearly that if the purpose of your life is hoarding, the judgments of God will be poured out on your life…and you will lose all you stashed away for yourself.

-     THIS is not a prescription against prudent savings or care for the future.

-     JAMES is talking about hoarding….which is by definition excessive. The only problem with even saying that however, is that the hoarder usually justifies himself/herself.

-     JESUS told the story, in Luke 12, of a rich farmer who hoarded so much that he had to build bigger barns and said to himself,

      “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”  (Luke 12:19)

-     BUT God’s response to him was,

      “‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ 21 So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:20-21)

-     WE might try and justify our actions, but the glory that is due the Lord from our lives gets stolen.





-     THE third contradiction to the life that brings glory to God is found in verse 4 of James 5,

      “Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.”

-     OBVIOUSLY the motive behind this kind of theft is greed….closely connected to hoarding.

-     ONLY now it is at the expense of those to whom you or I owe reasonable wages.

-     AND God seems to be particularly sensitive to the cry of those whose wages are being withheld….because that keeps bread off of their table altogether.

-     AND when it is a Christian employer, the glory that is due to the Lord gets stolen.



-     THE fourth issue is in verse 5.

      “You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.”

-     MAYBE James is thinking here about an Old Testament prophecy from Amos against Israel at a time when they should have been alert to the enemy,

      “Woe to those who are at ease in Zion and to those who feel secure in the mountain of Samaria….4 Those who recline on beds of ivory and sprawl on their couches, and eat lambs from the flock and calves from the midst of the stall…..6 Who drink wine from sacrificial bowls while they anoint themselves with the finest of oils, yet they have not grieved over the ruin of Joseph. 7 Therefore, they will now go into exile at the head of the exiles…” (Amos 6:3-7)

-     WE are in a spiritual battle…..a battle for the survival of the Church of Jesus in North America in these last days.

-     THIS is not the time for wanton luxury to be the objective and purpose of our lives.

-     WE might try and justify our actions, but the glory that is due the Lord from our lives gets stolen.



-     THE fifth and final issue is found in verse 6,

      “You have condemned and put to death the righteous man; he does not resist you.”

-     JAMES is talking here about the temptation of those in positions of power to abuse that power….to put to death, to take the life out of those who are not in a position to defend themselves….the last, the least and the lost.

-     JAMES may have been referencing powerful people who were opposing righteous believers for their faith.

-     BUT there are many ways we take the life out of others in an attempt to secure our place in the world….instead of trusting God for our security.

-     AND in the process, we might try and justify our actions, but the glory that is due the Lord from our lives gets stolen.

iii.  conclusion

-     LAST Friday morning, a friend of mine was doing a pre-construction walk through of a very expensive home in Laurelhurst.

-     THE house was large and well finished and furnished.

-     IT had a 270 degree view of Lake Washington, with a huge telescope in the library aimed at the water.

-     THERE was a brand new Ferrari in the garage, and a limo had just picked up the owner, as he did every day to take him to work in Seattle.

-     THE house already had a very expensive finish, but a contractor had been hired to gut the inside completely and rebuild it to showcase quality with the latest of everything in every room.

-     THE library, which in most of our homes represents the heart of the home, was lined with bookcases of books on piloting yachts, piloting airplanes and collector classics.

-     NO Bibles. Nothing in all of the 4,000 square feet that spoke of anything spiritual or that would bring glory to God except one lonely new book lying at an angle on the coffee table entitled, “The Power of a Praying Husband.”

-     AND we can only guess what that book represents of the life of the homeowner about to get an extreme makeover.

-     AND when I heard the story, I couldn’t help but wonder….

*     if someone walked through my house while I was away….

*     and knew something of my plans…

*     and could look in every room…..

*     and scan my bookshelves…

*     and pick up what was lying on my coffee table

-     WHAT would they learn about the purpose of my salvation?

-     HOW about your house right now? What would they learn about the purpose of your salvation?

-     WOULD you take that piece of paper out now please?

-     AND would you complete this sentence: The purpose of my salvation is……


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